I hit a moment in my musical exploration a few years ago. I was frustrated with the confines of songwriting.
What is really happening to me when I’m hearing this rock n roll song? Why does my body want to move this way when I hear it? Where is it leading me? Why do I like this song when I’m feeling sad, but this other piece of music gets me excited? This led to: Is this music healthy for me? How does my body absorb it? It was questions like these that eventually led me to composing music for meditation.
I began to learn that these questions had been asked for thousands of years. Mankind has had a keen interest in sound since the dawn of science. The knowledge was out there already, I hadn’t discovered anything new, I’d just needed to start reading. I discovered John Beaulieu, who sat in an anechoic chamber for over five-hundred hours listening to the sound of his own body. He later used this to develop sound therapy processes and technologies to help his patients which he called ‘Biosonic Repattering’. I found more. There were the ancient Hermetic philosophies, Pythagorean tables, Vedic Chakras, and cymatic therapy. There was Karlheinz Stockhausen and his student Jill Purce, who found that 28 overtones all exist in the brain. Why hadn’t I thought of this before? I had been listening to music and absorbing it my entire life with no idea why I liked it. As a songwriter, I’d been so busy writing words, but if all meanings could be adequately expressed by words, the arts of painting and music would not exist. There are values and meanings that can be expressed only by immediately audible qualities. Sound and vibration are inherent in everything in the cosmos. They are inherent to the quantum level, in and through, and beyond.
Since I’ve released my meditation music I’ve had wonderful and fulfilling feedback from those that have used it. I’m globally reaching out to the mindful communities through apps like Insight Timer. I’m applying my music to acupuncture and medical offices, to yoga studios, and massage parlors. I realize that I’m creating music in which people are going deep inside of themselves and healing themselves and this is very fulfilling as an artist. A woman in Sweden wrote to me and told me that while listening she suddenly had a very vivid memory of her childhood with colored pencils. The music assisted her in exploring other memories and she was able to connect to them while the sound calmed and soothed her.
I believe the brain and the body are very powerful and we are only exploring the tip of the iceberg with how we are truly connected to them. For us to truly understand our health we must learn to understand our own systems. Our bodies are breathing, organic, ever-changing, ever-morphing machines. They are the tool of our consciousness. Just as a guitar sounds beautiful when it is tuned, so too do our bodies operate on many levels.
The ancient Vedic Rishis of India coined a term that conveys their experience of the world as vibratory in nature. The term Nada Brahmin means “the world is sound”. The science of mantra has evolved for thousands of years and it seeks to directly affect consciousness through the use of specific vibratory keys. Who in America attempts to realize this or apply it to their own life? I work as an acoustical engineer and I see how society attempts to control the sound in our environments. There are city codes for limits of loudness based on the mathematical spectrum of how the human ear hears and how much sound it needs to feel comfortable. Most people don’t realize how urban areas are specifically designed to create acoustical serenity, but when they fail, everyone throws a fit. I imagine a future where sound continues to be enhanced and crafted to public spaces. The possibilities are unimaginable.
Nearly everyone you know enjoys some kind of music. It’s built inside of us. I think of sound therapy as a tool to use in creating harmonious relationships; a tool to help us focus, to allow us to relax and become one with ourselves, to heal our bodies, to connect to a higher spirit, to help us shed our anger, and to help us seek within for wisdom and courage in this trying political time. I guess, in a way, this is my form of protest.